Defensive stops, second-half surge keep Warriors unbeaten

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca turns for a hand-off against Nanticoke Area Friday night in West Pittston. - Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch
Wyoming Area running back Corey Mruk tries to escape the grasp of Nanticoke Area linebacker Seth Pelton in WVC football action Friday night in West Pittston. - Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch
Wyoming Area running back Nick Elko rumbles 26 yards to the Nanticoke Area 1-yard line Friday night in West Pittston. - Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch

WEST PITTSTON – When the offense was still struggling to get moving in the first half, Wyoming Area relied on its defense to stop Nanticoke inside the 10 twice, preserving a one-touchdown lead.

After celebrating the program’s history at halftime, the Warriors came out in the second half Friday night and continued building on making 2018 a special season.

Wyoming Area got its ground game moving to score twice in the first 8:38 of the second half and two more times in the final 4:39 of the game while pulling away for a 35-7 victory over visiting Nanticoke at Anthony “Jake” Sobeski Stadium.

The Warriors protected their 7-0, second-quarter lead by stopping the Trojans on fourth-and-goal from the 2, then holding again at the 7 on the next drive, leading to a missed field goal attempt.

“The defense was stout when we really needed it to be,” Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said. “We got a couple short-field stops and that was really important because, give credit to Nanticoke, they came in, played hard, stayed in the game and game themselves an opportunity.”

Nanticoke ran 10 second-quarter plays that started or ended inside the 10, without ever reaching the end zone.

Corey Mruk led the defensive effort during those stands, but Matt Wycoski, Dimitri Depietro, Dominic DeLuca, Derek Ambrosino, Darren Rodney, Dante Bovani and James Gashi all got involved in at least two of the stops during the biggest sequence of the 4-0 season so far for the Wyoming Area defense.

Wyoming Area also had an early threat stopped.

The Warriors got as close as the 3 in their first possession of the game before a pass on fourth-and-goal was dropped in the end zone.

Wyoming Area scored on its next drive when freshman fullback Nick Elko ran it in from the 1, one play after his 26-yard run.

The Warriors stalled there. Pinned in their own end of the field, they managed just two yards of offense in the second quarter.

The second half had an entirely different look.

Wyoming Area racked up statistical advantages of 12-2 in first downs, 191-81 in rushing yards, 42-0 in passing yards, 233-81 in total offense and 17:10-8:50 in time of possession over the final two quarters while breaking the game open.

Mruk ran 37 yards and Rodney went 13 for touchdowns and a 21-0, third-quarter lead.

Colby Butcynski followed up a 44-yard scramble with a 34-yard touchdown for the only Nanticoke offense of the second half, making it 21-7 going to the fourth quarter.

DeLuca added touchdowns of 26 and 4 yards and Aleah Kranson tacked on the last two of her five extra points to close the scoring.

Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca turns for a hand-off against Nanticoke Area Friday night in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL091518HSF-Nanticoke-WyoArea_1.jpgWyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca turns for a hand-off against Nanticoke Area Friday night in West Pittston. Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch

Wyoming Area running back Corey Mruk tries to escape the grasp of Nanticoke Area linebacker Seth Pelton in WVC football action Friday night in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL091518HSF-Nanticoke-WyoArea_2.jpgWyoming Area running back Corey Mruk tries to escape the grasp of Nanticoke Area linebacker Seth Pelton in WVC football action Friday night in West Pittston. Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch

Wyoming Area running back Nick Elko rumbles 26 yards to the Nanticoke Area 1-yard line Friday night in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL091518HSF-Nanticoke-WyoArea_3.jpgWyoming Area running back Nick Elko rumbles 26 yards to the Nanticoke Area 1-yard line Friday night in West Pittston. Bill Tarutis | For Sunday Dispatch

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

BY THE NUMBERS

Following its closest game to date, Wyoming Area has outscored four opponents this season, 180-28. … The Warriors were penalized a dozen time to just three for the Trojans. … Cameron Carr, who also had a sack and fumble recovery, and Darren Rodney each had three tackles for losses for Wyoming Area. … The Warriors threw the Trojans for 18 losses, totaling 60 yards and Nanticoke managed to gain yardage on just 18 of 42 plays. … Nanticoke quarterback Colby Butcynski ran for a game-high 111 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. … Wyoming Area had five players rush for at least 33 yards – Dominic DeLuca 11-82, Corey Mruk 9-67, Nick Elko 6-54, Leo Haros 6-33 and Darren Rodney 6-33.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.